El Nino is officially declared in Australia: Here’s why it’s set to be a very hot and dry summer
Australia is on bushfire alert after the Bureau of Meteorology confirmed the onset of an El Nino weather pattern, raising the chances of a blistering hot and dry summer.
It follows a period of global weather records being broken and a series of natural disasters which has seen killer heatwaves and devastating floods in the northern hemisphere.
El Nino is the opposite of La Niña, and causes hot, dry weather which can increase the risk of bushfires.
On Tuesday, the Bureau of Meteorology formally declared an El Nino weather event for Australia, two months after the World Meteorological Organisation announced a global El Nino was underway.
Weatherman have been warnibg of a possible El Nino in Australia since May, but the BoM said they had been waiting for certain key markers before declaring it officially.
‘We were waiting another week to say that it has settled into that pattern,’ said a spokesman.
‘Given all of those indicators, and we really need to meet three of our four criteria to declare an event – that has been passed today.’
Australia is already suffering several bushfires on the east coast with homes evacuated in Queensland yesterday and a huge fire sweeping through countryside close to Cessnock in NSW.
Area around Coles Bay in Tasmania were also evacuated on Tuesday after a bushfire there spread out of control and threatened local homes.
Weathermen are also warning of ‘catastrophic’ fire danger on the NSW south coast as high temperatures combine with unexpectedly high winds.
More to come